Posted by Kathy Hamburger
Happy Customer Service Week! This week at HGS USA, along with organizations all over the world, we are taking time out to celebrate the teams that manages billions of customer interactions every year and ensure that the HGS agents are positive brand ambassadors for some of the most respected brands in the world.
It’s a simple fact: these days, more and more brands are differentiating themselves through superior customer service. According to a recent survey, customers who never had a problem are less loyal (78%) than a customer who had a negative experience AND had their problem solved through customer service (89%). Brands trust HGS to increase customer loyalty, and that’s a pretty big deal.
Even though Customer Service Week is recognized one week out of the year, our teams make an impact 24x7x365. Here are four tips to help make excellent customer service an everyday thing.
Put the Customer First
Always put the customer first. This is pretty obvious, but sometimes it’s good to have a gentle reminder. From top down, everything we do at HGS is driven by how it will affect the customer. We continuously change and adapt to the customer’s ever-changing needs and wants, and by doing this, we know our clients customers better and are able to sell and respond to their requests better. Being a customer-centric organization creates happy customers and happy customers remain loyal.
It’s part of our culture to train agents to go just a bit further on every customer interaction, for example, greet customers by name and ask them how they are doing. Empathize with them…It’s something basic, but can make a huge difference when a customer is contacting us to resolve a problem. After that warm welcome, some additional tips to exceed customer expectations include:
- Understand why customers are connecting with us.
- Depending on the type of call, don’t give agents scripts. Give them prompts that will guide them through the call and allow them to personalize the call based on the needs of the customer.
- Treat customers fairly – I encourage everyone to pretend that the shoe is on the other foot, what would you want or expect? Determine that, and do it.
- Follow up with what you say you are going to do
Use the correct Channel of Communication
Customer’s interaction is rapidly evolving. According to Gartner, customer service through the voice channel will drop from 65% to 22% while self-service and social media interactions will increase from 20% and 7% to 30% and 28% respectively. Regardless of customer channel preference, customers expect a consistently high level of service and a fast, knowledgeable response which will solve their problem quickly.
Get Feedback from Customers
If you don’t know what customers want? How can you put them first? Retaining existing customers is more cost effective than acquiring new customers so ensuring that best practices are in place to keep customers loyal is critical. In a contact center environment, some of the ideal ways to get customer feedback include:
- At the end of the customer interaction, have the agent ask for feedback.
- CSAT Surveys through IVR
- Social Media - use analytics to see what customers are saying and respond quickly!
- Listen to calls and identify the root cause
- Email and Online Forms
- SMS feedback is becoming more and more popular with the millennials
There are many other tips that I can provide, but will stop here for now. What other tips do you have to ensure excellent customer service year round? Tweet me at @kathyhamburger and let me know!